College should be a chance to explore and engage with different political ideas and ideologies. For this to occur, differing political beliefs must be respected in classroom discussions. The Red & Black decided to ask University of Georgia students if they believe classes allow for a free exchange of ideas.
Ishan Vaish is a sophomore biochemistry and molecular biology and psychology double major.
“Kind of. I mean, if someone, for example, was to say something like ‘global warming is not real’ and I guess if we’re going to associate that with a more conservative stance, then I feel like a science teacher would not appreciate that comment being made. But I don’t think those comments are usually made in my classes anyways. [So] I would say, for the most part, yes [different political views are accepted].”
Philip Schroeder is a freshman biochemistry and molecular biology major.
“When [different political ideas and viewpoints] do come up, yes. One of the classes where it mainly comes up is my multicultural literature class. There are some things which tend to hit politically-charged ideas, but it does … seem [respectful] towards our ideas. I do make an intentional effort to try and challenge things if there is one idea that seems to be omnipresent … when I do, there isn’t really any adverse reaction, and it usually tends to be a good conversation point.”
Collin Walker is a junior agricultural and applied economics major.
“I think in class [different political beliefs] are respected. Outside of class, I don’t think people respect them as much, but I think in class they’re respected just because that’s class etiquette … If you wore a [Make America Great Again] hat around, people would hate that … But in class, they’re very respected. I’ve never seen any sort of political argument go on that’s disrespectful toward anybody.”
Robert Arteaga is a junior management information systems major.
“I think we tolerate peoples’ ideas. We’re pretty open with that … I have friends — they have different political ideas, but they still are friends. There is no problem with it among each other.”
Alexis Kalu is a junior chemistry major.
“Yeah, I feel like UGA in its entirety is a good mix of political party affiliations and ideologies. People are comfortable saying how they truly feel.”